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Baby bok choy and crispy tofu teriyaki sheet pan dinner at lynnecurry.com.

Tired of Chicken Sheet Pan Dinners? Try Baby Bok Choy and Crispy Tofu Teriyaki

I recently had my first sheet pan chicken dinner recipe published on Food52. {I’ve been a fan of the site since forever, and it’s exciting to now be a contributor.}

The whole sheet pan method has got me thinking differently about meals. And not just chicken.

Take baby bok choy. Typically, I would cook bok choy in my wok or a skillet. But for this recipe, I want each cut side of the baby bok choy to brown. That means an even, hot surface.

And that leads to a sheet pan–a sturdy one that won’t bend in the heat. And that leads to some tofu to crisp up alongside, which leads to a teriyaki sauce conjured from the contents of your cupboard. {“If you give a mouse a cookie…”}

Baby bok choy and crispy tofu teriyaki sheet pan dinner at lynnecurry.com.

But back to bok choy for just a moment. At this time of year, when the lettuce is looking sad and another broccoli dish is more than you can stand, bok choy is for you.

Given my adoration for greens, it’s no surprise that I heart bok choy. And the tiny bunches of baby bok choy simply allure me. They stay fresh and green for a good long while, too.

One of the challenges with bok choy is that the stem is so crunchy and the tips so leafy. In most cases, I’ll trim the leaves from the stems and add them to a stir fry right at the end.

But for this sheet pan bok choy, I simply cut those babies in half and let the green leaves get all crunchy while the stems cook to tenderness. The contrasting textures are all part of this meal to eat with a knife and fork.

Baby bok choy and crispy tofu teriyaki sheet pan dinner at lynnecurry.com.

The tofu really was an after thought. Dipped in tapioca flour and and slid onto the pan, the slabs turned crisp in the same amount of time the bok choy cooked. How handy!

That’s the key to sheet pan dinners: sometimes you have to juggle a few items in and out of the oven, depending on cooking times. So, if you want to have salmon instead, add portions to the sheet pan after you flip the bok choy.

Chicken thighs, on the other hand, will take a bit longer than the bok choy. Boneless breasts in about the same time.

As for the teriyaki sauce, it comes together in no time on the stove top while everything is in the oven. Forget bottled teriyaki! This version is equal parts soy sauce, mirin and sake with a bit of sugar and more tapioca for thickening.

I could eat it on nearly everything. Can’t wait for you to try it, too.

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Baby Bok Choy and Crispy Tofu Teriyaki

Here is a quick sheet pan dinner for your weeknight rotation--just add rice, if you like. If you can't find baby bok choy, use regular bok choy or a whole head of broccoli, cut into long stalks with florets and trimmed stalks. The teriyaki sauce is a keeper for all kinds of simple vegetable dishes, a poached chicken breast or salmon fillet.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Author Lynne Curry

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided or vegetable oil
  • 6 baby bok choy, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 12-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained and sliced into slabs
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar or granulated sugar or stevia to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sriracha optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread a sheet pan with 3 tablespoons of the oil.

  2. Arrange the bok choy cut side down on the sheet pan, turning them once to coat lightly with oil.

  3. Put the tapioca into a wide shallow dish. Press each slab of tofu into the tapioca to coat. Arrange the tofu onto the sheet pan. (Reserve the tapioca to thicken the teriyaki sauce.)

  4. Bake the bok choy and tofu until well browned, about 25 minutes. Flip the bok choy and tofu and continue baking while you prepare the teriyaki sauce.

  5. Meanwhile, make the teriyaki sauce by heating the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.

  6. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar and sriracha, if using. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

  7. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved tapioca (discard the rest) and stir until the sauce thickens and is smooth. 

  8. When the bok choy is nicely browned and the tofu is crisp (note that it will not brown very much), remove from the oven. Serve with the sauce drizzled on top and additional on the side.

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